martedì 22 aprile 2014

Pescara Natural wine bar

Papille  Pescara Luigi D’Orazio
Pescara is the biggest town in Abruzzo along the coast of Adriatic sea in the central of Italy, in this beautiful city among the sightseeing, the food and the wine play a big role in the CBD.
Last week we spend a beautiful night at this Osteria in the same line of Parisian bistro, the name is Osteria Papille hosted by the owner Luigi D'orazio.
Luigi is a very prepared person his wine list is focus on natural wine and old vintage of  Barolo and Tuscan benchmark at very good price; the food menu is enriched with selection of typical product of the region of Abruzzo and selection of different beef breed.
We had a charcoal fillet from the Limousin cattle from the Marche regions in France which it is an high muscle breed.
The fillet was tender and tasty, from advice of Luigi the first wine of the night we had was Le Raisin et L'ange by Gilles Azzoni 100% Syrah in a rosè style. It is a Vin de Pays in the Ardeche which is a forgotten appellation in the Rhone Valley, bisecting the north and the south of Rhone. Was a bit unclear but with  bright and vivid copper color, almost granitic on the plate a bit reductive with a very pleasant hint of volatile and why not some brett make that wine to follow in love. Sour cherry and tar with some humus balance palate and nose. Focus on freshness with a pleasant acidity and mineral content. Great warmness in the palate show the hot slope of the Ardeche.
Le Raisin et L'Ange.
The second wine we went in the Piedimonte  region  a classic or traditional Barbera D'Asti  to cut through the protein and the succulent of the meat was Vigna del Noce by Trinchero a small grower in Asti.
Vigna del Noce Trinchero
Renato ed Ezio Trinchero are specializing in Barbera, they make the long livest and most profound examples of Barbera to be found in all in Italy. From old vines in top sites and always vinified carefully to allow graceful evolution in bottle. This family farming only organically and are extremely meticulous with the viticulture. The Vigna del Noce is the flagship of the Trinchero the vines were planted in 1929. This cuvee are treated like a top Barolo, 45 days maceration during fermentation and aging two and half years in large old oak the classic italian Botti. After that rest for 6 months in bottle before release.
The 1999 was young, fresh and succulent still a baby. Depth with an impressive complexity there are no world to describe the beauties of this masterpiece.
After the steak we moved from a carefully selection of typical home made salami and cured meat and mold rind soft cheese selected by Luigi; all superb damn good. Here the choice was straight for a Burgundy Cote de Nuits.
Clos-De-Corvees Prieure Roch
This is the winery of Henry Freddric Roch is the co-manager of DRC he believes in retaining all the stem and bottling late; there are three different cuvee from the 5 hectares of the premier cru Corves in Premeaux the other village attached to Nuits Saint George. Clos de Corvees is a monopole here and the yields are low and the approach is very bio.
The Pinot was perfumed as crushed rose petal, red cherry and raspberry along humus, mushroom and chestnut honey, mineral limeston and refine clay. Palate long and persistence with lot's tertiary, smooth and elegant, delicious as Chambolle and masculine as Vosnè.
After that we continued drink an Australian Pinot Noir from Bendigo in the state of Victoria and another Pinot from Catalunya in Spain.. The Australian Atwood was very good, perfume add hints of cherry and rose with forest floor and dried mushroom. The spanish was very close all the time was tight and reductive but there was a good spine acid with really good slate mineral content.

line up...

Thanks to Papille a good place to spend a nice night.

lunedì 21 aprile 2014

Ron Matusalem Santiago de Cuba 15 Anos

The Brothers Camp with the friend Evaristo Alvarez in 1872 in Santiago de Cuba, they started the project Matusalem. Using only the method Solera and with that they reaching the secret formula for this Rhum.
Last night I tried the 15 years old bought straight from Cuba, a friend of mine Marco Battista which  spend at least a few months a year in the island of the Spanish Caribbean let me try this gem:
Color is bright copper. Nose fruity almost citrus, waxy with hints of oaks, toasted nuts and caramelized brown sugar cane. Hint of saltines in the palate, dry and silky with some spiciness ginger and star anise.
I always had some reserve in regards of pop brand but this time I need to say this was very good.
Thanks to Marco Battista,, we will drink this bottle trough summer.
A good cocktail with rhum recommended by Marco:

Ti Punch:
traditional is made with white rhum agricole, lime, and cane syrup.
Easy to prepare straight in the glass with lime rind as garnish ice is an optional.

martedì 15 aprile 2014

Vivit 2014 @ Vinitaly

Vivit is the fair in the fair.
Vinitaly the most biggest wine fair in Italy. Inside it there is a space dedicated to the production of natural wine around the world.
This year I spend a couple days inside there and I did find really interesting wine and confirmed my self with some wine I really loved previously.
I' ll focus this post on the producer where present at the exhibition:
Eric Texier is a small vigneron based in Brèzème a small appellation in the northern Rhone below further south of Cornas. It is a great charming man talking with him was a great pleasure and I love the pure expression of the grapes and the Terroir his wine showing.
We talk about the oldest producer of Rhone Valley peoples like Raymond Trollat in S. joseph, Marie Gentaz in Cote Rotie and Noel Verset in Cornas; unfortunately this are producer not long any more in the market they retired and I'm chasing them to try. Talking with Texier i understood how important they are and how this kind of old school wine making inspiring his wine production.
The cuvee St. Julien en St. Alban from 2011 was quite aromatic and lively, balck cherry with some peppery nose. Tangy minerality mostly granitic and charcoal. Palate sour and structure but finesse and elegance support by a beautiful acidity.
This cru is on the opposite side of Brèzème with vines older than 60 years; there is no add So2.
The Cotes du Rhone "Chat fou" from 2012 was a bit restrained with soft texture. Floral and soft acidity.
The Brèzème 2012 was my personal choice, tar, flinty and crush rocks minerality. Along dark and blue fruit with farmyard and wet earth and mushroom character. Very long persistence with no presence of oak.
Texier doesn't use barrel only concrete tanks.
Santa Caterina 
Colli di Luni district in Liguria. Winery "Azienda Santa Caterina". The vineyard facing the sea breeze on calcareous and red clay soil. 8 hectares to make olive oil and Vermentino, Albarola, Merla, Sangiovese and Merlot grapes.
Talking with the producer was a very good pleasure. I understood the reason why in Italy many producer grow this international varieties such a Merlot and Cabernet rather than invest in native grapes from the beauties of the Italian peninsula. The reason is this vineyard based on international grapes varieties are old vines, and any producer want to get rid such a gem of this calibre.
However Santa Caterina works with both grapes autochthonous and international varieties with reasonable ancient technique of wine making, copper and sulphur, cover crops following by the moon phase.
The whites are mineral with salty perception, sapid, tight and expressive… Long aging and never to heavy.
The red are daily drinking, focus on freshness and of course with some aging possibility.
I love this pure expression of soil.

Vasja Cotar
In the Carso district in Slovenia Branko & Vasja Cotar make some incredible wines without any chemical component. Malvasia Istriana, Terrano and Vitvoska are the main grapes varieties. The whites are macerated in contact with the skin as red wine making, thus they got grips and sourness in the palate. The Malvasia Istriana it is very perfume and aromatic, this wines are pure and a bit funky; they really respect the friendly attitude of Mr Vasja Cotar.
Talknig with Vasja, he told me the structure of his vineyard, on the top soil there is thin layer of red earth and limestone with lots of iron and fossilized sea life; that give lots of mineral content to his wines. Also told me is aim on the pruning to reaching one bottle of wine per plant. Simple guyot training system with a density of 7300 plants per hectare.
At Vivit i did tried the sparkling version of Malvasia Istriana in a orange wine style and the Terrano style, very funky and greats summer wine from my cured meat platter.
Cotar Bela
Giotto Bini his an artisan in Pantelleria a small island in the south of Sicily. This island is famous for cappers and the wines of Serragghia. Giotto it is a very charming person with great passion from his land:
I did loved this wine called Serragghia Fanino made with Pignatello and Catarrato a white and a red varieties. So good, fragrant, crunchy and mineral. I had a reminiscent of Poulsard and a Bonnes Mares. I love this guy.
Serragghia Fanino
Dominik Hubre of  Terroir al Limit Terroir al Limit in the Priorat district in Catalunya Spain. Terrace vineyards, high altitude with slate soil called licorella.

Reductive wines full of slate character and tar, acid structure with powerful due to the diurnal temperature range, a great exchange through days and nights.
Dominik in his project working only with old vines. Aging has been done in inert tanks and large foudres. The wines are made in a natural way and managed in biodinamic.

lunedì 14 aprile 2014

Tre bicchieri Vinitaly 2014

I would like to thank you the Vinitaly p.r. to invite me to this amazing tasting about the selection of "Tre bicchieri" the most recognize award about the Gambero Rosso magazine in Italy.
Everything was done in the Palaexpo in the Argento room underneath the Lombardy pavilion.
Vinitaly this year was quite crowd, hundred maybe thousand people walking around and lineup for drinking wines and asking question.
This tre bicchieri event, was quite good enough room to put your glass on the table, and if you'll find the producer at the pouring it was like a feast (asking question and sharing knowledge).
On this event on my personal opinion there were some wine was great and some so and so.
So let's start with the bicchieri Raffaele:
Pian di stio 2012 fiano 
In Pasteum village the street of mozzarella there is this winery called Pasteum or San Salvatore 1988, Pasteum is  the name of the town were the winery is located from organic agriculture their Fiano grape  named Pain di Stio on 700 meter above sea level in the Cilento area. from 2012 was subtle, perfume and lovely bouquet with sapidity and minerality… Only in half bottle and a very cute shape.
Tenuta Fessina
Arcuria Graci 
 Etna Volcano in Sicily, flinty and alluvional soil with compact sand and lava with limestone present. This place make the most interesting wine from the last 10 years in Italy at this event there were quite a few. They were my best:
Tenuta Fessina in Puddara a small village in the Etna is fairly Valmur (grand cru in Chablis) style; flinty, shellfish and why not was Kimmeridge reminiscent. Citrus and sharp. A wine to aging and wait for the tertiary upcoming.
Graci Arcuria 2011 as well Carricante 100% with 6 months on less. This one was more structure and complex, mouth felling and fleshy; everything was support a great minerality and saltiness and the back of the palate. I will said more food driving, great glass of wine.
Bianco Maggiore Rallo 
Azienda agricola Rallo a must of Sicily and Marsala producer I loved this Grillo 100% ( grillo is one of the grapes of Marsala blend).
The wine is named Bianco Maggiore; we are in Marsala. The stream of the sea influence the wine they are very salty and reductive, the soil is variable but clay and sandy are the main ingredient that give to the roots of the vines to easily discovery deeper the nourishment of the mineral essence in the soil.
The nose was white flowers, citrus as grapefruit and orange zest; lime juice and cordial. Palate clean, crispy and salty. Only bush vines more than 50 years old.
Fontana Vecchia 
In the district of Taburno in Campania there are a beautiful hillside landscape there is this small producer which make simple but terroir driving Falanghina.
Only stainless and bottle quite young:
Orchard fruit, slightly citrus and classic note of herbs along some smoking. My aperitif style wine.
Villa Bucci
Verdicchio dei castelli di Jesi perhaps the  most symbolic producer . His Riserva for 2009 it is quite outstanding. Gold in color. The nose show hints of chamomile, mint, nuts, sage, thyme with diffuse minerality. Palate is complex quite aromatic green character, long lengths, back final quite salty.
18 months in barrel big to small one.

2009 Nebbiolo in Langha 
 Piero Busso Gallina in Barbaresco
Giacomo Fenocchio Bussia Barolo in Monforte D'Alba.
Paolo Scavino Bric del Fiasc in Castiglione Faletto.

The vintage 2009 in Langha by the press meant to be a not perfect one.
With this 3 example which I tried at Vinitaly i really find a gem of wine which show great freshness and approachability. Perhaps will not aging as 08 or the mythical 2010 but is a perfect to understand the potential of this king of grape variety.
Nose show violet, licorice, sour plum and bue cherry, mineral and lushy palate.
Off course different cru, soil and exposition will make some difference:
Piero Busso Gallina cru in Barbaresco show more spiciness and sour sweet fruit with undertone of limestone and clay minerality.
Giacomo Fenocchio Bussia Monforte D'alba more masculine and mineral, tar and limestone component due to the helvetian soil in Monforte.
Paolo Scavino Bric del Fiasc another tar charcoal mineral wine, close and tight with lifted flavor and crush violet and rose petal along strawberry jam quite sour and salty.
Skerk in Prepotto village in the Carso district. Vitvoska 100% macerated on skin an orange wine:
candy citrus flavor, thyme, mint and salty toasted nuts, iron and oyster shell, bees wax and honeycombe.
2011 good one.
Vigneti Masa Montecitorio 2010 and 2011 
 Vigne Marina Coppi Fausto
This two wine are the expression an interesting grape varieties made in the provence of Novara. For me remind the mineral flinty and kerosene of Riesling and the fattiness of Chardonnay.
Walter Massa is perhaps the father of this varieties.
Marina Coppi is the nouvelle vague of the Timorasso.

venerdì 11 aprile 2014

Villa Favorita 2014,

The 2014 edition of Villa Favorita in North Italy, in the country side of Vicenza a small city in the region of Veneto has been a great experience, more than 150 winemakers all over Europe they were sharing the same philosophy and attitude based of healthy agriculture respecting mother nature. The natural balance between the work of their hands, the soil where their vineyard are situated and their minimal intervention bring in the glasses a great wines with outstanding pleasure of drinking.
the theme behind them were:
Environmental and economic sustainability of the winery.
Fertility and vitality of the soil.
Wine and Health.
I spend a full day there and of course I wasn't able to try all the wines were displayed..
So I try to tell about some of them:

Stemberg wines
Stemberg wines in the center of Carso appellation in the Slovenian part; I did try the Vitovska a typical grapes varieties in this part of the world quite aromatic; star bright with straw yellow color, lovely sapidity, clay rocks with distinctive length. For the same producer I did try the chardonnay called Robinia, gold in color some oaky character in the nose lightly sweet spice with incredible finish almost interminable, cheesy and buttery component; however support with a great acid structure which keep in balance the process of aging of the wine.
 Costadilà in provincia di Treviso make incredibile sparkling wines from traditional grapes Glera (the Prosecco grape), Bianchetta and Verdizo with the goal to valorize the rich agricultural traditions of Tarzo a small town in the Provence of Treviso reintroducing natural farming.
All his wine are sparkling fermented in bottle. I loved two of their wines presented, the "280 slm", the still wine previously spend time on skin to enrich the poliphenol component after they go in bottle and spend a bit of time on less,,, they are not Discorged so some sediment are present on the bottle.
Rich in color almost amber, dried yellow fruit apple compostè, wild fruit with sour rocks, exuberant and brilliant.
The "450 slm" it is more bright in color due to the fact the wine doesn't spend time in maceration with the skin. Orchard fruit, white flowers and sandy palate great freshness and saltiness.
Bruno Debize
Bruno Debize farmed about 5 hectares in the south part of Beaujolais
Bruno Debize
Biodinamic since 1999, Debize makes some of the most terroir driven in Beaujolais.
The red are pure and expressive with intense granitic component almost reductive less fruit component with freshness mouth filling and crispy acidity.
The white are complex and superb something in between Chablis and St. Aubin style, loved..
Cascina Tavijin
Cascina Tavijin in Piedimonte in Monferrato. The Barbera lovely earthyness, dark and blue fruit with limestone component a must of this grape. The Ruchè an indigenous grape varieties in Castagnole Monferrato got a lively tannin with grip and structure more sour red fruit and animal nose "farmyard" all their wine doesn't have any component of oakyness in the bouquet.
Jean Pierre Robinot  
 Les Vignes de L'angevin by Jean Pierre Robinot in the Loire valley in the appellation.
Mr. Robinot was the man behind the natural wine bar in Paris early in the 1980 he open one.
In 2001 he returned to the Loire and became a vigneron in the appellation Coteaux du Loir and Jasnieres in Touraine only Chenin Blanc and Pinot D'Aunis. 
Lovely intense mineral wine, reductive and full of complexity both red and wine.
Worth to buy and storing.
 Les Vignes de L'angevin
Beautiful label as well, I do apologize for my photo my iPhone getting crazy…
Mr. Frank Cornellisen
Here the belgium guy made the Etna a place to drink.
Mr. Frank Cornellisen start to making really interesting wines all aged in Amphora clay pot with long maceration on skin contact.
They are wine with power and finesse in the same time.
Only locally grapes varieties Nerello Mascalese and Cappuccio for the red.
Carricante, Minella and Catarrato for the whites.
This are the most important on the Etna all his wines are dictate by Altitude and age of the vine.
They really worth to try. They are extremely in minerality, due to the fact the active volcano where their fruits grows.
The red are quite different by the different of the cru or parcels, all of them have got a commune denominator:
tar, granitc and wet rocks with an hint of dumb earth; of course some cuvee are more complex and long lived than others. The Magma is top one and the Munjabel 9 V.A. were for me absolutely out of control.
The white is an orange wine on the border, only for people have training them self quite well.
I do like his wines so far, actually I won't to buy almost all of them before the Volcano erupted and destroy the Viticulture in Etna. 
Mr. Frank Cornellisen wines 
 a.t. Andreas und Elisabeth Tschepp
Andreas und Elisabeth Tschepp.
South of Stiria in the border with Slovenia. 
Chardonnay and Sauvignon:
lush and waxy zesty and ginger. Full and ripe fair acidity. A saline finish in the palate and very clean. You can tick all the box with this wine.
Ca Del Vent 
Franciacorta Lombardy Italy on the lake Iseo.
Ca Del Vent the producer long lees permanence in bottle. Creamy texture, brioche and roundness.
Acidity and sugar in armory with good complexity fruit palate and sapidity.
My first time I did try and I liked it.
Casa Caterina
Still in Franciacorta but Casa Caterina has decide to label their wine outside of the denomination of Franciacorta.
The rose for 2004 was reds skin onion in color. Nose raspberry and raspberry liquer, some brioche and white chocolate.
Palate lots of freshness with an unctuous head.
Great persistence and incredible freshness. 
Azienda Agricola Casale

Azienda Agricola Casale

Tuscany in the north part of Elsa valley, near the historical town of San Gimignano this small boutique Azienda Agricola Casale make some really old fashion Sangiovese, Vin Santo del Chianti ed Trebbiano toscano in maceration with the skin grape. I did try the whites from the vintage 2012 and 2004. The maceration going for over a month, the wine are quite rich in color, orange zest great polyphenols component in the palate with ripe fruit, zesty and crispy character, marine fossil on the nose.
The vineyard are situated in very special soil back to the Pliocene era, clay erosion rich in fossil.
Biodinamique since 1980, certified Demeter from 1995.
I did try at the stand some back vintage of Sangiovese something in the 80, unfortunately I lost my notepad and I can recall the exact vintage, there were quite perfume still fruit profile with tertiary character. Long  aging. 
Azienda agricola Bosco Falconiera
Azienda agricola Bosco Falconiera in the district of the D.O.C. Alcamo in Sicily, label as I.G.T. Carricante the varieties another orange wine, saltiness and marine with great acid structure with length and complexity quite interesting how the warm climate of Sicily can make such a wine with freshness and liveness.
this producer Very new for me.
Kmetija Stekar
 In the region of Brda in the west part of Slovenia Rebula the grape varieties another name for Ribolla, long maceration on skin, wild yeast and spontaneous fermentation without temperature control.
The rebula I did try was from 2007 producer was Kmetija Stekar this wine was soft and spice orange and berry fruit tones. Round ripe and full. Bright and balance, peppery with tannin very pleasant on the palate.
Awesome, the best wine from east europe.
Franco Terpin
Franco Terpin in Friuli Venezia Giulia in the Collio district in the provence of Gorizia make wine with an aging of 3 years in the cellar before release. I do like all his wines they are perfume, quite texturally
 and long complexity. the Jakot (TOKAJ back to front) was for me the stand up.
Full and forward with overripe fruit aromas melon, preserved lemon and candy citrus zest. Lovely, balanced clean and rich with clean acidity and clay structure,,, lifts by pepper on the nose… Quince in palate with a chewy tannins and extract.
Madame Tarlant 
Madame Tarlant from Champagne in Oeully and Epernay was very charming and humble person 
I will do a post just for her next time. However try her wine there was an amazing experience even for the fact she was there.
Laherte Freres
From Champagne there was also Domaine Laherte Freres from Chavot village. I always loved their wine and drunk them.
However I find them at this wine fair quite rude and arrogant in respect of me. They were annoyed about my question and didn't want to talk with me.
I'm quite upset I don't know if in a future I will work again with them, in my next wine list I'm not going to listed them. In the past I always put in the Champagne section their cuvee.